Denisha P. McKenzie

Orange County Office
(949) 622-1661
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In My Spare Time I Enjoy: Spending time with my family.

Favorite Quote: “What defines us is how well we rise after falling.”

Favorite Team or Sport: I grew up watching a lot of basketball in my household – GO LAKERS!

Learn More about Denisha and Areas of Practice

About Denisha

Denisha P. McKenzie defends employers in all areas of labor and employment law in state and federal court, as well as before various administrative agencies, including the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), and the Division of Labor Standards Enforcement (DLSE).  McKenzie's practice has a special emphasis on vigorously defending alleged claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and wrongful termination.  A significant portion of her practice is also dedicated to defending wage and hour single plaintiff, class action, and Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA) lawsuits.  

McKenzie has successfully resolved a number of employment claims on summary judgment, including having a complete dismissal affirmed on appeal.  As part of her trial experience, she has managed expert witness reporting and testimony, developed overall defense strategy, and conducted direct and cross- examinations of several key witnesses.

McKenzie also provides proactive advice, counsel and training to management on emerging employment issues in California to ensure compliance with its ever-changing laws and regulations.  This includes drafting policies, employee handbooks, and policy manuals regarding leaves of absence, wage and hour compliance, occupational safety and health, and several other statutorily-mandated requirements.  She also regularly drafts employment contracts, as well as severance, settlement, and arbitration agreements.

McKenzie is a formidable advocate for advancing diversity and inclusion in the legal industry, as well as her local community.  She has authored several articles on diversity and inclusion, and regularly assists management with developing effective action plans to achieve a diverse and inclusive workplace.  She is the Immediate Past President of the Thurgood Marshall Bar Association of Orange County and the recipient of the 2019 Legal Trailblazer Award from the Black Law Student’s Association of the University of California, Irvine School of Law.

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University of California, Irvine School of Law, J.D. 2012

  • Pro Bono Honors
  • Member of Inaugural Class
  • Co-Founded the Orange County Human Rights Association (OCHRA)
  • Co-Author of Inaugural Issue of the UC Irvine Law Review

Tufts University, B.A. 2009

  • Honos Civicus


"Understanding Employment Law Trends to Keep Pace with the Evolving California Workplace," Co-Author, Orange County Business Journal, November 2020

"25 Tips for California Employers Based on Recent and Proposed Changes in California Law," Co-Author, Orange County Business Journal, October 2019

"Diversity and Inclusion: It's Much More Than Just Legal Compliance," Co-Author, Orange County Business Journal, October 2018

"San Francisco Giants Narrowly Recover Right to Compel Arbitration on Appeal," California Employment Law Letter, November 2017

Can You Fire an Employee For Off-Duty Conduct?” Co-Author, Orange County Business Journal, October 16, 2017

"The Price of Bullying: Why Pizzerias Should Protect Employees from Abusive Conduct on the Job," Co-Author, PMQ Pizza Magazine, May 2017

"Employee Bullying Claims Can Bury Your Business," Co-Author,, April 2017

"Learn These 10 Strategies To Avoid Common – And Costly – Employee Lawsuits In The Transportation Industry In California," Co-Author, Transportation & Logistics International, January 2017

"Supreme Court Leaves Massive Attorney’s Fee Award Against EEOC Unresolved,” May 2016

"AB 1522 Requires California Employers to Update Paid Sick Leave Policies," September 2014

"New California Employment Laws for 2013," December 2013

"Orange County Human Rights Association:  A New Student Group for a New Era," March 2011


"Top 10 Employment Concerns for CA Employers Related to Returning to Work and COVID Vaccinations," Co-Presenter, CDF Webinar Series, May 2021

"COVID-Related Wage and Hour Issues," ProVisors OCC, March 2021

"Developments, Updates and Predictions on Trade Secret and Non-Compete Laws for 2021," Co-Presenter, CDF Webinar Series, March 2021

"Remote Timekeeping and Gender Pay Data Reporting," ProVisors OCC Group, March 2020

"COVID-19 Related Wage and Hour Issues," Co-Presenter, CDF COVID Education Week, December 2020

“The Complexities & Opportunities: Achieving Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Law Schools and the Legal Profession,” Panel Member, UC Irvine School of Law - Summit II, October 2016

“Business Compliance with California’s Rigorous Employment Laws,” June 2016

“Compliance with EEOC’s Guidelines on the Use of Conviction Records,” September 2015

“Joint Employer Liability for Employers of Temporary Workers in California, July 2015

“Employment Discrimination Update: Recognition and Elimination of Bias,” January 2015

"2014 Update for California Employers," December 2014

“16th Annual LatCrit Conference, Avoiding the Pitfalls of Tradition,” October 2011

Professional Affiliations/Leadership/Awards

Listed, Best Lawyers® Ones to Watch, Litigation - Labor and Employment Law, Irvine, 2023

President, Thurgood Marshall Bar Association, Orange County

  • Immediate Past President, 2019
  • President, 2018
  • President-Elect, 2017
  • Vice President, 2016

Listed, Super Lawyers Southern California - Rising Star, 2018 - 2022

Member, The National Black Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, 2022 

CDF Labor Law LLP

  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Committee, 2021 - Present

Alumni Representative, University of California Irvine School of Law, Inclusion and Diversity Committee, 2016 - 2017

Recipient, Trail Blazer Award, University of California, Irvine School of Law, Black Law Student's Association, 2019

Civic Activities

Board of Directors, Family Support Network, 2016 - 2019

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October 22, 2019

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Threatening A Co-Worker Will Properly Get You Fired, Restaurant Group Serves Winning Verdict

May 14, 2019

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March 7, 2019

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December 14, 2018

Denisha McKenzie in OC Lawyer Article Who's Who in the OCBA

July 25, 2018

Denisha McKenzie Installed as President of Thurgood Marshall Bar Association - Orange County for 2018/2019…

January 30, 2018

Denisha McKenzie Installed as President of The Thurgood Marshall Bar Association - Orange County

January 19, 2018

San Francisco Giants Narrowly Recover Right to Compel Arbitration on Appeal

November 6, 2017

The Price of Bullying: Why Pizzerias Should Protect Employees from Abusive Conduct on the Job

May 10, 2017

Employee Bullying Claims Can Bury Your Business

April 24, 2017

Denisha McKensie Quoted in OCBJ on Law Firm Diversity & Inclusion

March 21, 2017

CDF Attorney Named President-Elect of Thurgood Marshall Bar Association

January 30, 2017

Todd Wulffson & Denisha McKenzie Author Article "Learn These 10 Strategies To Avoid Common &…

January 18, 2017

CDF Bolsters Orange County Team - Attorneys Christopher M. Robertson & Denisha P. McKenzie Join Firm

September 30, 2016


Our clients can rest assured that our attorneys will protect their time, protect their dime and protect their peace of mind, so they can focus on maintaining productive and rewarding workplaces to remain competitive and successful in their marketplace. CDF - Attorneys you can Trust. Experience you can Trust. Results you can Trust.

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